Friday, March 3, 2017

Senate Passes Discrimination Changes

The Senate passed SB 43 which changes the how employees can sue for discrimination.

From the press release: Senate Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said like most of the bills the Senate has approved so far this session, the modification will help Missouri become more competitive with not only its neighbors, but nationwide as well… Senate Bill 43 raises the standard for determining whether an employer is liable for a discrimination charge under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), as well as the Whistleblower Protection Act, from a "contributing factor" to the "motivating factor." The “motivating factor” means that the employee’s protected classification actually played a role in the adverse action or decision and had a deciding influence on the adverse decision or action. The plaintiff must also prove that the action was the direct immediate cause of the claimed damages…

 

Now What?

In the hallways there’s some wondering if the fact that Senate leadership gave Sen. Gary Romine a lot of time for this bill will have any positive repercussions in the tense and tentative peace which has settled over the Senate.

Romine is seen as the alternative to Richard if disgruntled senators were to rebel against too tight reins from leadership.

Now that Romine has been gifted ample floor time, will he advance the thaw perhaps by stepping aside from blocking virtual schools or the utility grid modernization bill?

And

As the Senate has been deliberate in staying on their priorities, the calendar is filling up.  There are now 124 Senate bills for perfection sitting on the calendar.

 

More on Hammerschmidt

One observer… “The waxing and waning of Hammerschmidt may depend on whether the judges are or are not afraid of the legislature. In the 90's they were somewhat or mostly unafraid, as they were up until 2007, and then they seemed to act afraid for several years, and now they may be back unafraid, or oblivious to the politicians (which what they should be). The constitutional provisions relating to single-subect and other procedural requirement are important and the Court is the only means to police the legislature's tendency to misbehave by logrolling…”

And

Another MOScouter pointed to the change in House rules allowing for the creation of mid-session House Committee Bills as way to adhere to the original purpose clause.

 

Greitens Mystery Cash Updates

Governor Eric Greitens told the press that he would not be telling how much money various “insiders” gave a non-profit he set up to cover the costs of his inauguration despite the fact they have legislation headed to the governor’s desk.  Yup.  See it here.

And Post-Dispatch uncovers one of the planes Greitens has been using.  See it here.

 

Historic Tax Credit Cap Met

From Dentons’ weekly note to clients… “The $140 million annual cap on Missouri's Historic tax credit program was met this week for the first time since it was instituted by the legislature in 2009. The program's governing statutes (Sections 253.545-253.559) provide guidance to the Department of Economic Development on how they shall handle qualifying applications received after the cap has been exhausted. Missouri's fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30, which means the program will be without space in its cap for the next four months. The program's cap pertains to authorizations, not issuances or redemptions, of the credits…”

 

Marijuana Moving in the House

Columbia Missourian reports on a committee hearing this week.  See it here.

Pull Quote: The bill, proposed by Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron, mirrors another bill proposed this year by Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph. The bill would be an extension of current Missouri marijuana law, which allows hemp extract to be used to treat intractable epilepsy. An effort to expand use of medical marijuana failed last year in the House… The bill was supported by emotional testimony from Missouri residents. As they told their stories of dealing with life-altering diseases, some cried and some stayed stoic, but all demanded action.  Mike Sharp, the sheriff of Jackson County, choked up as he told the committee about his nephew whose autism causes him to physically harm himself…

And

For those following the marijuana reform movement, embattled AG Jeff Sessions says no weed raids coming.  See it here.

 

Bits

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft will be on Varney and Co. with Stuart Varney on the Fox Business Network at 10:15AM this morning.

 

Post-Dispatch looks at the shock the increased minimum wage is putting on St. Louis City businesses.  See it here.

 

Pitch reports that another Department of Corrections leader has resigned as the revelations there are still rippling out.  See it here.

 

Help Wanted

Magellan Healthcare seeks VP of Business Development.  “This position has overall responsibility for the development, execution and management of Business Development and marketing strategies to drive revenue growth for Magellan Healthcare Public Markets…  This role also builds and maintains collaborative internal relationships with peers and external relationships with consultants, lobbyists and payer decision-makers throughout the United States… Directs development of product and market specific sales and marketing plans that enhance revenue growth and reflect current public policy and integrated health trends, as well as State and Federal government, health plan and large employer budget priorities…”

See it here.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Jonathan Dalton added MPM-PPIA.

Scott Marrs added Merscorp Holdings Inc.

Heath Clarkston and Harry Gallagher deleted Gillham Professional Group, First Data, and Mainstreet Advocates on Behalf of Intuit.

Harry Gallagher deleted Ami Kids.

Philip Smith deleted Missouri Lottery.

Mark Bruns deleted Isle Of Capri - Kansas City, Isle Of Capri - Cape Girardeau, Lady Luck Casino Caruthersville - Isle Of Capri Casinos, Isle Of Capri – Boonville, CVS Health, and Isle Of Capri Casinos, Inc.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $13,773 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Midwest Region Laborers’ Political League Education Fund - $6,785 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.

Progress KC PAC - $50,000 from Weestern Missouri & Kansas Laborers District Council.

Progress KC PAC - $25,000 from Rhythm Engineering LLC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Heath Clarkston, Maria Walden, and Brooke Foster.

Saturday: Sen. Dan Hegeman, and former Rep. Rochelle Gray.

Sunday: Reps. Paul Fitzwater and Shane Roden.